Canoe and Kayak Shuttle Service

Want to enjoy an afternoon paddle without the hassle of staging cars and hauling equipment? Our Canoe and Kayak Shuttle Service provides flexible launch and pickup options, complete gear outfitting, and the assistance of our knowledgeable staff – everything you need to have a fun, convenient excursion on the Milwaukee River!

downtown canoeing

How does it work?

Available to contributing members of the Center who have passed our free water safety course, the Canoe and Kayak Shuttle Service lets you create a customized Friday or Saturday outing by selecting from our available options.

  1. First, register and reserve your desired watercraft from the available dates.
  2. Once you've registered, contact Lesley, our Community Programs Coordinator at (414) 964-8505 to schedule your launch and return times.

    Launch: All Canoe and Kayak Shuttle Service excursions launch from the Milwaukee Rowing Club Boathouse (1990 E North Commerce St), and your launch time must be scheduled between 10 am and noon on the day of your reservation.

    Return: Paddle a bit or paddle a bunch – it's up to you! Tailor your outing by choosing a return time from the following three options:
    • Return to the Rowing Club Boathouse between 2 - 2:30 pm.
    • Be picked up from the public dock near Riverfront Pizzeria between 3 - 3:30 pm and returned to the Boathouse.
    • Return to the Rowing Club Boathouse between 4 - 4:30 pm.
    Learn more about which option is best for you!
  3. Arrive on the day of your reservation at your scheduled launch time and the Urban Ecology Center staff will get you geared up and assist you in launching your boat.
  4. Enjoy paddling the Milwaukee River!

What does it cost?

The Canoe and Kayak Shuttle Service is $15 dollars per boat.

What's included?

  • Canoe or kayak
  • Paddles
  • PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices)
  • Dock rope
  • All equipment staged and ready to launch
  • All equipment stowed upon your return
  • A ride back to the Boathouse if that option is selected
  • The assistance of an Urban Ecology Center staff person to help you with your boat, and answer any questions you might have about the route.

How long is the paddle?

From the Rowing Club Boathouse to the public dock is about 2.5 miles. Paddling this distance non-stop at a leisurely pace will take most people about 1.5 - 2 hours. But you may want to stop along the way at one of the many riverside restaurants, or take a mid-paddle break and stretch your legs at Pere-Marquette Park.

To paddle at a leisurely pace from the Boathouse to the harbor and back to the Boathouse is about 5 miles, and will take most people about 4 - 5 hours if you stop to eat, and a bit less if you don’t.

What happens if I miss my return/pickup time?

The Urban Ecology Center staff running the shuttle will give you a phone number to call if you need assistance on the day of your paddle. Anytime during your paddle you can call to switch your desired return option. If you miss the last return time, we will still pick you up, but you will be assessed a $25 special pick-up fee.

What if there's inclement weather on the day of my reservation?

If there is moderate to heavy precipitation, high winds, or temperatures lower than 60 degrees on the day of your shuttle reservation, an Urban Ecology Center staff person will call you to cancel the shuttle for the day. You will receive a full refund if the shuttle is cancelled due to weather.

Upcoming Events

Event Listings

Early Morning Bird Walk (Riverside Park)

Riverside Park

Thursday, February 22nd

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

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ROOT Menomonee Valley - Cancelled

Menomonee Valley

Thursday, February 22nd

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

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